Waikato might have an edge at interprovincials
The Waikato golf team believes it has a key weapon in its planned assault on the national men's interprovincial amateur tournament which starts in Dunedin today.
Coach Simon Thomas was the professional at Balmacewen Golf Club, venue for the event, for 13 years before taking up the head coach role at St Peter's School in Cambridge.
Thomas has travelled with the Waikato side to his old home and team manager John Bridle said the players have been soaking up his advice on how to play the course.
"He's been able to give them his knowledge, but the players know they'll also have to treat the course according to the conditions," Bridle said.
The youthful Waikato lineup - missing last year's No 1 Mathew Perry after he recently turned professional - is led at No 1 by Te Awamutu's Compton Pikari, who leapt into the limelight this year when he won the North Island under-19 championship at the Hamilton Golf Club and backed that up by capturing the South Island Stroke Play title.
He is backed up by Luke Toomey at No 2, Tom Brockelsby at three, Ho Jun Sung at four and Steven Kuggeleijn at five, with Nick Coxon the reserve.
Bridle said the team has been in good form of late and was relishing the chance to show their wares after a year-long buildup.
Southland won the title last year but will be without top amateur Vaughan McCall, who has been invited to play the Australian Open and Cody Harper who has turned professional.